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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Wednesday, 28 November 2029

Last Minute Changes / News

Covid: track and trace, max group size is 30.

Friday, 8 August 2025

Annual Events


Canary Wharf Light Festival


Snowdrops: SWC 353 - Knebworth Circular


Wood anemones: Book 1, Walk 15: Leigh to Tunbridge Wells;  Short 43: Lesnes Abbey Woods


 Azaleas: 1-18: Sunningdale to Windsor - in Saville Gardens (Windsor): also Isabella Plantation (Richmond Park)


Bluebells : Late April-early May: 2 - 5ab: Tring to Berkhamsted via Dockey Wood and Flat Isley;  1 - 9: Shiplake to Henley via High Wood and Greys Court;  2 - 13e: Guildford to Boxhill; 1- 47: Ockley to Warnham.......and many more (see our Nature Blog)

Early May: for late bluebells plus rhododendrons and azaleas: 1-42: Holmwood to Gomshall via Leith Hill Rhododendron Wood

Ashwell at Home - for open gardens - Baldock Circular (SWC 91) - usually the 2nd Sunday in May (cancelled for 2021)

Cow Parsley:  SWC 91- Baldock Circular ;  1-8: Bures to Sudbury 


Apple Blossom: 1-28: Chilham to Canterbury;  SWC 299 - Teynham to Faversham;  1-36: Borough Green to Sevenoaks

Buttercups: 1-8: Bures to Sudbury;  SWC 190 - Thame Circular

Oxeye daisies: 1-10: Beaconsfield Circular 

Leigh on Sea folk festival ~ late Jun

Poppies: 2-22: Amberley to Arundel


Sandwich folk festival ~ 4 & 5 July

Lavender: Late July - Short 23 - Banstead to Woodmansterne; 1-36: Borough Green to Sevenoaks ; also in Letchworth Garden City


Pride Parade in Brighton: ~ 1st Sat in Aug

Heather: 1-27: Milford to Haslemere

Sep Heather - and berries, fruits and nuts.
Start of fungi (mushrooms) in woods
LeighFolk festival(normally June) hosting a one off  "Garden gatherings" event Sept 3-5 2021. Free on Sunday 5

Deer Rut - Bushy Park, Richmond Park

Sussex Bonfires - Oct and Nov.

Late October - early November: autumn leaf colour: SWC 140 - Wendover Circular via the Lee and Swan Bottom;  1-45: Princes Risborough to Great Missenden; 1-47: Ockley to Warnham


Brokham Bonfire, Lewes Bonfire, many "smaller" ones in Sussex

Dec  Christmas Fair: 1-7: Garston to St Albans 

For a more comprehensive list of SWC walks with flowers, particularly our bluebell walks, please see the Nature Pages / Where to Find Wild Flowers

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Brighton Pride Parade 2022 and walk to Newhaven

Postponed again to Sat, 6 Aug 2022.

The parade starts from i360 tower on the sea front at 11am. A good place to watch would be the sea side of the seafront parade route, opposite the Holiday Inn on Little Preston Street. So a train to arrive in Brighton about 1015, or a little earlier as might be very crowded. It has a fun atmosphere, lots of rainbow clothing. Watch the parade go by, about an hour, then start walk along the coast. Lunch in Wethies overlooking Brighton marina (or if you can wait, Rottingdean has a seafront pub with outside tables overlooking the sea). Then through the Marina to the Undercliff path (passing a cafe or 2) to Rottingdean (pub), more undercliff path, then cliff top path to Newhaven Fort, harbour, town and eventually train station. l=swc.213

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Saturday walk – Haslemere circular

Marley Common and Black Down

Length: 14km (8.7 miles)

Toughness: 5 out of 10 (7 out of 10 if you climb Black Down). 

This is a memorial walk to celebrate the life of Nicholas Albery the creator of Saturday Walkers Club who died twenty years ago. Those who remember Nicholas and those who appreciate this wonderful social invention might like to come along for the walk or join for lunch at the Red Lion in Fernhurst where a table has been reserved. If you plan to lunch at the pub, please email so that the booking can be adjusted to the correct number.

The walk goes through very beautiful countryside. It is mainly National Trust land - mixed woods with blackberries and bluebells and heathlands of bracken, gorse, heather and bilberry, with fine views from Black Down (280 metres/919 feet), the highest point in both Sussex and the South Downs National Park.

Trains:  Catch the 10am from London Waterloo  (Woking 10.25)  arriving Haslemere 10.53. This train does not stop at Clapham Junction but there is a slower train which stops at CJ at 9.52 and gets to Haslemere for 10.50.


Return trains from Haslemere are at xx.02, xx.14 and xx:30. Buy a return to Haslemere.


Lunch: The Red Lion in Fernhurst or picnic on the green.

Tea:  options described in the walk directions.

For COVID contact tracing purposes, please email or register on LWUG  if you intend to come on the walk.   In the event that you develop COVID symptoms in the week following the walk, please email or Your contact details will not be shared with anyone.

For walk directions and map clik here


Saturday Walk Winchelsea to Hastings - Icklesham, Pett, Fairlight, Hastings Country Park, steep Glens, a secluded beach for swimmers, then on into Hastings

Book 1, Walk 25 - Winchelsea to Hastings

Length: 20.3 km (12.6 miles).    If starting walk from Rye: 15 miles
Toughness: 9 out of 10       Up and down several steep glens towards the end of the walk

London St Pancras:   09-34 hrs   Southeastern High Speed service to Dover Priory
Arrive Ashford International: 10-11 hrs   Change trains
Leave Ashford International: 10-25 hrs   Southern stopping service from Ashford Int. to Eastbourne
Arrive Rye (Sussex): 10-46 hrs
Arrive Winchelsea:   10-51 hrs


Hastings to London Charing Cross:  31 and 50 mins past the hour  (journey length 1hr 33)
Hastings to Victoria: 23 mins past the hour  (journey 2 hr 13)
Hastings to St Pancras (changing at Ashford International): 27 mins past the hour (journey 1 hr 30)

Rail ticket: the walk notes tell us to buy a day return to Winchelsea, but a day return to Hastings any route permitted might offer more return options.  Please make sure your ticket includes the High Speed legs of your journey. 

Covid-19 Compliance: [until 19 July 2021] please note the current guidance on this website and observe social distancing. You should all come prepared to exchange contact details for track and trace purpose. You can either pre-register for this walk (not essential ) by e-mailing me at  or, if you prefer, please write your name, e-mail address and contact 'phone number on a small piece of paper for handing to me on the train or when we assemble at walk start. Thank you.  

This is an invigorating walk, but not one for the faint hearted. The hard work - up and down steep glens - comes towards the end of the walk when you are already getting tired - so do please try to conserve your energy. But your efforts are well rewarded by fine views all day.  Swimmers have the opportunity to recharge their batteries before the final steep glens by taking a dip at the secluded beach at Fairlight Glen - do please take care when descending the path down to the beach and back up.

The main walk starts at the remote railway station (a halt) of Winchelsea - some way from the old town.  If starting your walk at Rye you take the well signed 1066 Country Walk path before joining the main walk when passing Winchelsea railway station. After a short section of road walking it's on then over fields and meadows and uphill to the village of Icklesham for an early lunch option,  the popular  The Queens Head with a good size beer garden.  The walk continues down through farmland to the village of Pett, where you come to your second lunch stop option - the Royal Oak Inn Recently reopened after a change in management post Covid lockdown, hopefully the pub is serving lunch today.

After lunch the walk continues down to Pett Level (a swimming beach) then up a series of paths to Fairlight, where detours to avoid cliff erosion take you to Hastings Country Park.  You next come to the Glens - Warren, Fairlight (with beach down below) and Ecclesbourne. The last of these has been officially CLOSED since 2014. Locals - and some visiting walkers - have ignored the closure notices and walked up the rough terrain over the landslips. An alternative route complying with the path closure is included in the Walk Directions. 

You finally arrive at the top of the last glen and come out onto the broad grassy plateau above Hastings. with fine views of the town below. You now head gently downhill to Hastings Old Town  with a couple of good pubs, before continuing along the sea front of the New Town. The railway station is up the hill from the pedestrianised part of the town centre.

Many SWC walkers consider this walk to be one of the best if not the best in the original TO Book. Enjoy !

Walk Directions are here:  L=1.25

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Sunday Walk - Quiet Chalky Uplands of NW Essex: Wendens Ambo (Audley End station) Circular

Length: 23.7 km (14.7 mi) or 17.5 km/10.9 mi 

Ascent/Descent: 240 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ¼ hours (both: full walk)

Toughness: 4 out of 10 or 3 out of 10

A slightly longer, more westerly route (25.7 km/16.0 mi) takes you over Essex’ highest point itself.


Take the 09.57 Cambridge North train from Liverpool Street (Hackney Downs 10.03, Tottenham Hale [Victoria Line] 10.10), arriving Audley End at 11.00.

Return trains: at xx.10 and xx.47. Buy an Audley End return.


This is a relaxing walk in the quiet chalky uplands of north-west Essex, on the borders of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, very much off the beaten track, and with gently rolling hills, plenty of woods and copses as well as some pretty villages. Right from the start the walk takes you past picturesque thatched cottages with ample examples of pargeting, a decorative medieval plastering technique, and on through some farmland to the early lunch stop in Arkesden, one of the prettiest villages in Essex with one of the best pubs and loveliest churches.

The route then gently ascends to Chrishall, the dedicated lunch stop on the full walk, along field boundaries and green lanes. Chrishall village is close to Essex’ highest point and the approach offers fine views into the Hertfordshire plain and back down the wide ‘winding valley’ that gives Wendens Ambo its name. After lunch you follow the Icknield Way to Elmdon, with views north out across the Cambridgeshire plain to Cambridge, then alongside a high hedge with views off to your right into the winding valley back to Wendens Ambo.


Lunch: The Axe & Compasses in Arkesden (4.9 km/3.0 mi, food from 12.00) for the short walk or The Red Cow in Chrishall (13.1 km/8.2 mi, food to 15.30).

Tea: The Bell Inn, 10 minutes from the station.

For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.116

Saturday, 26 June 2021

Saturday Walk: Herne Bay to Faversham

SWC 12 - Herne Bay to Faversham
14.8 miles / 23.8 km

A seaside walk along the North Kent coast following the Saxon Shore Way - the route follows the coast as much as possible, with a little diversion over the railway line and back again on the way out of Whitstable.  Usually this is walked in the opposite direction, but Faversham is a lovely place to finish. 

Whitstable has plenty of places for an early lunch (it's just 5 miles from the start), a slightly later option is the Forget Me Not Cafe and Tea Rooms at Seasalter.

Trains09:40 London Victoria (09:57 Bromley South), arrives 11:09 at Herne Bay.  Return trains from Faversham at xx:00 to St Pancras, xx:37 to London Victoria (plus a very slow London Victoria train at xx:45).  Buy a day return to Herne Bay.

Covid Contact Tracing: please provide email address or mobile phone number at the start of the walk.

Full details and walk directions here.

Saturday walk - Amberley Circular via Arundel Park - a new route through familiar territory

Length: 18.3km (11.3 miles), with a shorter ending of 14.8km (9.2 miles) possible T=SWC.361

9.35 train from Victoria (9.42 Clapham Junction, 9.53 East Croydon) to Amberley, arriving 10.57.

Buy a day return to Amberley if intending to do the full walk: if not a day return to Arundel gives you the option of returning from there instead

For walk directions and the home page for this walk click here, for GPX click here, and for a map of the route click here.

I hope the walk author will not be offended if I say that this walk, only posted to the website a few months ago and now having its first airing, is a rehash of elements from some familiar Arundel walks, with a few new twists added. In its early stages, for example, it reverses the crossing of Arundel Park familiar from the Amberley to Arundel walk in book one, but instead of going directly into Arundel, takes a new route past a wetland reserve, and then round a loop in the river. In the afternoon you do a bit of Arundel Park the "right" way round, so to speak, and then there is a river finish into Amberley. There is the option of a shorter ending in Arundel instead.

Lunch is in Arundel after 5.9 miles, with plenty of pub, cafe and takeaway options. For tea there are a couple of possible mid afternoon refreshment stops, as well as the Houghton Riverside Tea Gardens (if it is open or has space) or the lovely Bridge Inn (ditto) at Amberley.

Trains back from Amberley are at 17 past the hour until 21.17 (the last train), with an additional train at 16.50. From Arundel trains are at 13 and 46 past

**** It would be very useful if you could pre-register for this walk for Covid contact tracing purposes at if not, please bring a piece of paper with your email written on it, which will be kept in an envelope and only used if a case of Covid arises on the walk. To let us know if a contract tracing requirement arises as a result of this walk, use ****

Saturday Walk - Historic Salisbury, The Chalke Valley and some Wiltshire Downs: Salisbury Circular

Track-and-Trace: please provide email address (preferred) or mobile phone number at the start

Length: 32.3 km (20.1 mi) [shorter walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 427m; Net Walking Time: 7 ¼ hours
Toughness: 8/10 
Shorter routes, reducing the length by 5.4 km or 7.2 km respectively, are described. 
Bus 29 Shaftesbury to Salisbury City Centre (10 mins walk from the train station) runs through the Chalke Valley and stops outside the lunch pubs as well as in the village of Stratford Tony (opp. Manor Farm), half-way through the afternoon (times at Broad Chalke: 14.05/15.49/17.05/18.20). 
Cutting out the outer loop of this figure-of-8 walk and turning back in Stratford Tony, reduces the length to 17.0 km/10.6 mi.
Take the 09.20 Exeter St David's & Bristol Temple Meads train from Waterloo (09.27 Clapham J, 09.46 Woking), arrives Salisbury 10.42. 
Return trains are on xx.47 and xx.21 to 19.21, then 19.33 (via S’ton), 20.26, 20.53, 21.26, 22.26.
This long walk explores the Chalke Valley in the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the South West of the quintessentially English Cathedral City of Salisbury. It leads out of town through the Cathedral precinct, past some of England’s finest historic houses and through the Harnham Hill suburb into open fields with far views over the Chalke Valley to distant Downs. The morning route then largely follows the Ebble River upstream in the Chalke Valley through several pretty villages in this picturesque part of Wiltshire, with three good lunch pubs and two community stores conveniently spaced out along the route.
Most of the climbing is left for the afternoon, starting with a steady ascent with splendid views into pretty coombes, from Broad Chalke up to an ancient Ox Drove on top of the Downs. A long stretch with more views from the Down into coombes and valleys follows, largely along the course of a Roman Road, before the descent back into the Chalke Valley, followed by an immediate re-ascent up another Down. A Drove Track with views into the Nadder and Wylye Valleys leads past Salisbury’s Race Course and through the steep Harnham Slope Nature Reserve to tea at Harnham’s charming Old Mill.
From there the route back to the station goes through the town’s Water Meadows and provides ‘Britain’s Best View’ (Country Life magazine): Salisbury Cathedral across the meadows.
Lunch: The White Hart in Bishopstone (11.9 km/7.4 mi, pre-booking essential for food service, which is to 14.00, pizza available from 15.00-17.00) or The Queens Head in Broad Chalke (15.4 km/9.6 mi, food all day), but only on the full walk. 
Tea: The Old Mill at Harnham (1.0 km from the end of the walk), plus a couple of Indian restos by the station and lots of choice in Salisbury’s City Centre (a little off-route). 
For summary, map, height profile, some photos, walk directions and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.254